Mixed-use project under consideration for county-owned site at 8th/108th

April 24th, 2016 Tracy Posted in housing, King County, White Center news Comments Off on Mixed-use project under consideration for county-owned site at 8th/108th

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Discussions are under way about a possible development at the county-owned site at 8th SW/SW 108th that includes the White Center Food Bank and a former health clinic, according to the head of one of the agencies involved in those discussions.

Steve Daschle, executive director of West Seattle-based Southwest Youth and Family Services, mentioned this while speaking Wednesday night to the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, a monthly meeting we routinely cover for our partner site WSB. He said, “It’s still very conceptual right now, and we’ll be coming back for community support. … We’re hopeful we can pull together the resources to build some housing at that site.” He acknowledged there might be community concerns too, “but I think we’re going to have to try to overcome their concerns by suggesting that housing is never a bad thing.”

If you’ve only seen the 1961-built offices on the site, you might wonder if it’s big enough for a mixed-use project, but county records show it includes open space that Daschle describe as “trees behind (the building).” Before mentioning the project, he had been telling DNDC members – from community councils and other organizations in eastern West Seattle – that SWYFS has found itself providing services further and further south in King County, as the people it serves move that way.

We’ll be following up this week to see if we can find out more.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: What’s planned for March meeting

February 29th, 2016 Tracy Posted in housing, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: What’s planned for March meeting

This Thursday, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council invites you to its March meeting. From NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When: Thursday, March 3rd @ 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 SW 112th Street – parking and entrance is in the back)

Please join NHUAC for an informative community meeting as we learn about an important way to help brighten North Highline’s future. The meeting will begin with videos about the Fair Housing Act and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2015 rule, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. We hope you will join us Thursday night as we begin this educational journey toward community empowerment.

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Need home repairs? Come to Habitat for Humanity’s White Center info meeting on Wednesday

February 24th, 2014 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center news Comments Off on Need home repairs? Come to Habitat for Humanity’s White Center info meeting on Wednesday

Need help affording home repairs? This might be for you:

Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County is providing home repairs to a limited number of White Center residents through its White Center Home Repair Program, a partnership with the White Center Community Development Association. To inform homeowners about the program and eligibility requirements for receiving home repair assistance, Habitat staff are hosting an informational meeting on Wednesday, February 26 at the Greenbridge YWCA, 9720 8th Ave SW.

Habitat Seattle-King County aims to provide White Center homeowners with a variety of exterior repair services, such as replacing broken windows, rebuilding porches or stair cases, painting to protect the home’s siding, roof repairs, and more. Blow-in attic insulation or other weatherization work may also be considered. Homeowners are selected to receive home repair assistance based off their need and willingness to partner with Habitat. The home in need of repairs must be their primary residence.

Those interested in the program are required to attend an information meeting. Please contact Donna Adair at dadair@habitatskc.org or (206) 855-5214 to register for the meeting.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 6 pm.

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Celebration today after 87 more apartments open at Seola Gardens

October 25th, 2013 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center news 1 Comment »

8:31 AM: A celebration is planned at 11 am today at Seola Gardens, now that it’s opened 87 additional apartments. King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott are scheduled to speak, according to a news release from the county which includes full details on the development – read it in its entirety on the King County Housing Authority website. The celebration is described as “community-based,” so it appears all are welcome – 11 am, with the location described in the news release as “outdoors at Seola Gardens, west of Fairwind Park and north of the community center, located at 11215 5th Ave. SW.”

12:28 PM: Stopped by for a few photos that we’re adding here.

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Green Canopy Homes buys ‘Clara, Zelda, Louise’ in White Center

November 15th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Environment, housing, White Center news 2 Comments »

Just announced by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission:

Green Canopy Homes, a Seattle company, purchased three existing homes today to be rebuilt with quality, energy efficiency, and today’s lifestyles in mind. The company has the tradition of naming their homes upon purchase. Clara, Zelda, and Louise are neighboring homes which were up for sale at the same time in White Center.

“This was a great opportunity for us,” says Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy, “and our first opportunity to save the character of a neighborhood by purchasing three homes side by side. We will make these homes more efficient, more livable and comfortable as well as lower the carbon footprint.” Green Canopy re-uses and remodels homes in local neighborhoods using leading efficiency methods and materials, while keeping the original charm and character intact. Even though these homes will use 50% less energy, the prices will be at market with no “premium in price” for the energy costs savings.

Green Canopy Homes was able to borrow funds from the Sustainable Energy Trust (“SET”) at an interest rate well below market. “We are glad that Green Canopy Homes was able to borrow from this fund,” explains Karen Miller, Chair of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. “The legislature created the authority for the Commission to create and administer the SET; however, we received no state or tax-payer money. The Commission was able to raise dollars for the fund to meet the legislative directive ‘to provide financing for qualified improvement projects.’ This is the first of hopefully many projects that will demonstrate the economic benefits of energy efficiencies and renewables.”

The homes to be retrofitted currently average 850 sq. ft. In addition to the improvements of ductless heat pumps, water efficiencies, new windows, and upgraded insulation, all three homes will have “great” rooms added bringing them in line with life-style expectations. Mr. Fairchild adds, “We think long-term about our work’s impact on the environment, and seek to create a community of urban dwellers who care about their neighborhood and their footprint within it. We are happy to partner with the Commission and SET to bring better and more efficient homes to Seattle.”

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is a publicly accountable, self-supporting team, dedicated to increasing housing access and affordability, and to expanding the availability of quality community services for the people of Washington. The Commission accomplishes this by working with the investment community, nonprofit organizations, developers, first-time homebuyers, and beginning farmers and ranchers to bring private investment dollars to benefit families and achieve public goals in Washington, including energy efficient development and renewable energy resources.

We’re checking to see if we can find out more about where these homes are located.

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White Center real estate: First homes sold at Greenbridge, says King County Housing Authority

March 21st, 2012 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, housing, White Center news Comments Off on White Center real estate: First homes sold at Greenbridge, says King County Housing Authority

The aerial view of Greenbridge is courtesy of West Seattle pilot/photographer Long B. Nguyen, who often shares spectacular views with our partner site West Seattle Blog. In this case, his image of Greenbridge landed in our inbox about the same time we received a note from King County Housing Authority project manager James Rooney, announcing a milestone – the first homes sold at Greenbridge.

The development’s status had been a source of some controversy with local community activists, since it was intended to be more a mix of owned and rented homes, like West Seattle’s High Point. Last fall, construction of the first seven homes intended for sale began at 8th and 100th. And now, Rooney tells WCN, they’re done, and sales have closed on four of them, with one more under contract, leaving two up for sale. He adds, “Although these homes are available for all buyers, HomeSight is offering up to $45,000 in down-payment assistance to buyers earning up to 80% of area median income.” (In case you’re househunting – here’s the official flyer.)

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Unity Village celebration: Now home to 30 families

November 17th, 2011 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center news 11 Comments »

30 new apartments have officially joined the White Center community, now that Unity Village has celebrated its grand opening. You might recall the affordable-housing project at 13th SW/SW 100th for its previous name, “Strength of Place Village”; the name change, says project sponsor White Center Community Development Association, came from its new residents as well as other White Center community members. Wednesday’s celebration included tours:

And of course, a celebratory cake:

Though the weather was a little too drippy for anyone to be using it, visitors got a good look at Unity Village’s sparkling playground.

Blessings for the ceremony were given by ministers from Seattle’s Choeizan Enkyoji Nichiren Buddhist Temple, Revs. Kanjin Cederman and Ryujin Sorenson:

Among the dignitaries on hand: White Center/West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

Also involved in the $9.5 million development along with WCCDA are Capitol Hill Housing and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. You can read more about it here.

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Strength of Place Village is now Unity Village, with a November 16th grand opening

November 3rd, 2011 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center news Comments Off on Strength of Place Village is now Unity Village, with a November 16th grand opening

From the latest newsletter from Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, a partner in the project formerly known as Strength of Place Village:

As of November 2nd, the property is 100% rented! Thirty families are moving into beautiful Strength of the Place Village which the tenants have now renamed Unity Village. Please join us and our partners, Capitol Hill Housing and White Center Community Development Association, in celebrating the grand opening, Wednesday, November 16 from 3 pm to 5 pm. You will be treated to tours the first hour followed by a reception and program including remarks from King County Executive Dow Constantine. These new gorgeous units of affordable housing include rare affordable three bedroom units for the multi-generational families in our community.

Funding for this 30 unit project was provided by Impact Capital, King County, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Tax Credit Assistance Program, the State of Washington, National Equity Fund, Bank of America, the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound and the Bill & Melinda Gates Sound Families Initiative in conjunction with the King County Housing Authority.

Join us at Unity Village on the corner of SW 100th Street and 13th Avenue SW in White Center.

A similar announcement on the WCCDA website has additional details.

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Peek inside White Center’s new Strength of Place Village

July 13th, 2011 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 1 Comment »

It looks a little more done on the outside than the inside, but community members were invited to come over this afternoon to tour Strength of Place Village, the new 30-unit low-income housing complex at 14th SW and SW 100th. You’d have to use your imagination to think about the possibilities of the still-being-built interiors – this is going to be a community room:

The living spaces are taking shape – note the windows and brightness in this one:

As reported here earlier this month, applications are now being taken for prospective tenants. Strength of Place Village is a partnership between Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, White Center Community Development Association, and Capitol Hill Housing, whose Kate Gill de la Garza was a tour guide this afternoon. Ground was broken for the project last September.

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Strength of Place Village: Applications to be taken; community tour planned

July 1st, 2011 Tracy Posted in development, housing, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Thursday image from construction webcam at Strength of Place Village)
Updates from Kate Gill de la Garza at Capitol Hill Housing, which is a partner in building Strength of Place Village in White Center: They’re about to start taking applications for people to move into the low-income housing development at 14th and 100th, and there also will be a community tour for anyone interested in taking a look as it gets closer to completion. Here are those two announcements.

Submit an application
Sit down with a Quantum Management representative to fill out an application for housing & ask questions!
Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Location: YWCA Learning Center at Greenbridge
Address: 9720 8th Avenue SW
Time: 3 pm-7 pm

For that event ONLY, child care, light refreshments and interpretation in Spanish, Vietnamese & Somali will be available, according to the announcement. Also, you can find a housing application by going to this page on the White Center Community Development Association site or picking one up at WCCDA HQ at 1615 SW Cambridge. Meantime, here’s the tour announcement:

Community Tour
Come and see what quality affordable housing looks like!
This tour is open to all!
Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Location: Intersection of 14th Avenue SW & SW 100th Street
Time: 4 pm-6 pm

You can check in on the construction via the site webcam – see it here.

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Strength of Place Village groundbreaking in White Center

September 15th, 2010 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on Strength of Place Village groundbreaking in White Center

Big turnout in White Center this morning for the groundbreaking celebration kicking off the construction of Strength of Place Village – that’s Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen offering a blessing, in our top photo, which State Sen. Joe McDermott described as,
“I think it is terribly fitting that we started today with greetings from the Chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribe. Native Americans have been in this area for at least 10,000 years. And on November 13, 1851 the Denny party arrived in West Seattle, not far from here. Back on the 4th of July a bunch of people gathered near there, in front of an institution that is now closed, and talked about how much “this place” matters. And I think that lesson is exceptionally important to remember today. This place does indeed matter. The partnership that we’re celebrating today talks about the strength that can be harvested in this community at coming together to make this place as valuable as it can be to further enrich the value that is already here. I’m pleased the State had been able to play a role in housing this project. And I’m look forward to not only coming back to cut the ribbon, but to move boxes into the new homes next summer.”

It’s a 30-unit housing complex at 13th SW and SW 100th for low-income families (income no more than $55,000/year). It’s also a collaboration between agencies including the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, the White Center Community Development Association, and Capitol Hill Housing. From those three agencies, with County Executive Dow Constantine, in the next photo, are WCCDA’s Aileen Balahadia, DNDA’s Derek Birnie, and CHH’s Chris Persons:

Balahadia said at the ceremony, ““As you can see, the strength of place here really isn’t about place at all…of the bricks and mortar of a building…or the dirt and soil that we’re going to be breaking ground on today. White Center is truly special because our people make it so. And we choose to work the White Center way where community works side by side with partners, policymakers, institutions, to lead the kind of change residents want to see in their community. SOPI is part of a greater White Center neighborhood action plan designed by residents. This property was initially identified and brought to our attention by the King County Sheriff’s office due to some public safety concerns on the site. They asked if we could do something together on this? The CDA and DNDA worked closely with the original owners of the property on those safety issues. And the neighbors and local residents were all informed and were part of co-designing this project. So it has been a tremendous accomplishment.” Of course, there was the ceremonial shovel-turning – can’t have a groundbreaking without that:

(With the shovels, from left, were White Center resident Laushonda Barquet, Impact Capital director Heyward Watson, Dow Constantine, Aileen Balahadia, Derek Birnie, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chris Persons, King County Councilmember Jan Drago, State Sen. Joe McDermott.) Barquet, a 25-year White Center resident, said, “When I think about a neighborhood where I would want to raise my son I think of a place like this. Where my son and I have a place to grow and accel safely. Also have stable housing. I can catch the bus or even walk to work. You can walk to school. White Center is a place where you can get fresh produce and all different types of ethnic food. This is also a neighborhood that is a safe place for my child to play and a safe place to leave my doors open when I’m cooking or cleaning. That’s why I participated as a resident in the design of SOPI Village and in raising awareness for the project. It is important that my voice and our voices provide the heart and soul in the leadership of a place like this, in White Center.” Here’s a closer look at the “I (Heart) White Center” hardhats:

This is one of the renderings showing what Strength of Place will look like:

Demolition work continues at the site now.

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Strength of Place Village groundbreaking date set: September 15

August 2nd, 2010 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center news 4 Comments »

The date’s now set for the groundbreaking ceremony at the 30-unit housing development Strength of Place Village, a collaboration between White Center Community Development Association, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, and Capitol Hill Housing. It’ll start at the project site, 13th SW/SW 100th, at 11 am, followed by a barbecue at Steve Cox Memorial Park (one block away) at 11:45. Lots of info here.

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Follow Up on Editorial: Should We Take Susan Hutchison Seriously

September 28th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in boulevard park, development, Economy, Election, Government, housing, Jail Sites, Jobs, King County, safety, sustainability, Traffic, Transportation, white center 19 Comments »

For those who missed it, KUOW today broadcast an interview with, King County Executive, Susan Hutchison.  You can find the interview at KUOW Weekday.  In a prior post I had made the following observation which sparked a fair amount of discussion:

Ms. Hutchison has never held public office.  She has never had to struggle with the political realities of governing a complex political entity whose ambits include not only roads and sewers but social services, neighborhoods and law enforcement.  It is difficult to see how her experience on the board of the Seattle Symphony prepared her, in the slightest way, for such a weighty role.

If anyone had any doubt about Ms. Hutchison’s lack of specificity on issues, policies or even advisors, it is worth a listen (available on podcast).  Pressed by the moderator to name a single advisor who she consults, or who she would bring to her administration, she flatly resisted naming anyone, except to say bus drivers.  Her conclusion was “trust me” they will be great people.  I have nothing against bus drivers, but maybe she could have named a couple of the guys that she intends to bring to the Hutchison administration that will “bring people together.”  I’m sorry but calling Hutchison a “lightweight” does not begin to describe the chasm that is her lack of qualification to hold such an important post.  Listen for yourself.

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Should We Take Susan Hutchison Seriously: Editorial by Ricardo A. Guarnero

September 23rd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Annexation, boulevard park, Businesses, development, Economy, Election, Greenbridge, housing, Metro, North Highline UAC, Politics, white center 22 Comments »

Given that White Center, Boulevard Park and surrounding areas are governed directly by King County, the choice of King County Executive should be taken very seriously.  The two candidates are Susan Hutchison and Dow Constantine.  Constantine is a fixture of West Seattle and White Center politics, so he is a known commodity.  Not so, Susan Hutchison, who hails from the East Side of the County.  Candidate Hutchison has run a “feel good” campaign, emphasizing her position to “bring people together.”  Her website’s issues page contains four short paragraphs, with the following priorities:

Jobs & the Economy:

Susan will help give small businesses the tools they need to create jobs…

Improve Transportation:

Susan will quickly implement simple changes to encourage transit ridership…

Budget Reform:

Susan will identify waste and restructure the budget to ensure our tax dollars are being spent effectively.

Protect Our Environment.

Susan will forge partnerships between environmental, labor and business groups as we work toward our common goal…

That’s it folks, Susan Hutchison’s platform for managing one of the biggest governmental entities in the country. In her defense, it might be said that she is offering as much detail as the two lightweights who are currently vying to be Seattle’s next mayor.  But then, that’s not much of a complement.

I will forthrightly state that I do not like Ms. Hutchison’s right-wing politics and that on that basis alone, she should be disqualified for the position.  Seattle and King County residents are a tolerant, liberal community.  To have a George Bush conservative speaking for us, just does not sit well.  But what about her competence?

Ms. Hutchison has never held public office.  She has never had to struggle with the political realities of governing a complex political entity whose ambits include not only roads and sewers but social services, neighborhoods and law enforcement.  It is difficult to see how her experience on the board of the Seattle Symphony prepared her, in the slightest way, for such a weighty role.

I often disagreed with former King County Executive, Ron Sims, but I found him thoughtful, intelligent and most importantly, quite knowledgeable on any issue relating to his role as Executive of the very large and expansive King County.  On the issue of affordable housing, we know nothing as to where Hutchison stands?  Does she support the Greenbridge and High Point housing/community developments?  If so, on what basis?  If not, why not?  Where does she stand on the issue of incorporation which raises the hackles of so many of White Center’s residents?

And what of her experience dealing with communities of color or economically distressed areas?  How does her “bringing people together” chirp really address the many challenges that White Center faces?  The fact is, nothing in her background begins to give her a serious understanding of White Center or similar communities.  There is no on-the-job training for such issues.  And Ms. Hutchison has given no indication that she even remotely cares about such issues.  In the end, Hutchison is what she was in her prior role as newscaster, a pretty face with a vacuous resume.

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White Center development on Seattle Council agenda today

August 10th, 2009 Tracy Posted in housing, White Center news 14 Comments »

Perusing the Seattle City Council‘s agenda for today, on behalf of partner site West Seattle Blog, we spotted an agenda item that actually has to do with White Center. The council will consider a proposal for Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program, which is city-chartered, to partner with Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association to advance the SOPI Village affordable-housing project, for which DNDA got county and state funding two years ago. The development site is 13th SW/SW 100th (map). The legislation that the council will consider says “low-income housing tax credit equity is also needed as a major subsidy source, and DNDA has concluded that a joint venture is necessary to secure tax credit equity funding; and … DNDA desires to partner with Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program (CHHIP) to secure tax credit equity necessary to allow the Project to move forward …” Though CHHIP’s properties are mostly located in areas closer to its namesake, its website says the organization does manage Holden Vista in the Highland Park area of southeastern West Seattle.

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Homeownership for the Community – Thursday, April 9th @ 6 p.m

March 25th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in development, Economy, housing, Real estate, white center Comments Off on Homeownership for the Community – Thursday, April 9th @ 6 p.m

Homestead Community Land Trust (HCLT) will be holding a special Informational Session at the Greenbridge Library, 9720 8th Ave. S.W. on Thursday, April 9th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for anyone interested in learning more about affordable homeownership opportunities.

Homestead is partnering with eligible homebuyers to create affordable homeownership in the White Center and Boulevard Park.  How it works is the homebuyer selects a home that is FOR SALE and fits their needs and budget.  They pay $100,000 less than the sales price, significantly reducing their monthly mortgage payment.  In exchange for receiving the $100,000 –which does not have to be paid back – the homebuyer agrees that when they decide to sell, they will sell to another income eligible buyer at an affordable price.  In this way, the community maintains a stock of affordable homes and the homebuyer passes on the affordability to the next buyer.

For example, a recent Community Land Trust homebuyer in White Center is paying $950/month as their housing payment for a 2 bedroom single family home with a large basement and detached garage.  They have a stable monthly payment, have the opportunity to build equity, can live there as long as they want, and they receive the tax benefits of homeownership!

To qualify, you must  a) be a first-time homebuyer   b) earn less than 80% area median income for King County**   c) have the ability to be approved for a home loan   d) have a desire to live and own a home in the White Center/Boulevard Park community   e) have 1% or $2500 to put towards the down payment.

Please help get the word out by encouraging eligible future homebuyers to attend the session.   At the session we’ll provide:

  • An overview of Community Land Trusts and our approach to homeownership
  • A detailed view of Homestead’s Purchase Program for White Center/Boulevard Park
  • Steps to getting started on the path to Homeownership

You can contact Laura Evans with any questions or to RSVP for the session.

Laura Evans

Homeownership Program Manager

Homestead Community Land Trust

2524 16th Ave. S. Suite 300

Seattle WA 98144

ph: 206 323 1227 ext. 111

fax: 206 588 0253


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“Affordable housing” money announced, some for White Center

January 14th, 2009 Tracy Posted in housing, King County Comments Off on “Affordable housing” money announced, some for White Center

The county has just announced a VERY long list of programs and agencies getting $36 million dollars in all. Among them, the Homestead Community Land Trust, which will be working with eight first-time home buyers in White Center. Read the full list and details here.

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